Rethinking pain management amid the current opioid crisis is a natural progression. In 2019, over 10 million people in the United States misused these prescription medications. Given the potential for side effects and addictions, it simply makes sense to look away from medication-based therapies for chronic pain.
You may be surprised at both the range and effectiveness of treatments that help you reduce your dependence on pain pills. Take the first steps toward pill-free techniques with a visit to Westside Pain Specialists. You’re in expert hands with Dr. James Nassiri and his team partnering with you to find the right pain management plan for you.
We’ve collected a list of pill-free treatment options that you can discuss with Dr. Nassiri, as well as a few lifestyle choices that may hold surprising benefits in your quest to manage chronic pain.
Gate control theory
Pain in your body uses tiny electrical impulses to transmit signals from pain receptors in the body to the brain. What you perceive as pain is the interpretation of these signals in the brain.
The theory of gate control suggests that pain signals open the path for pain signals to travel through the spine at the dorsal horn. When other sensory information travels to the brain at the same time, this gate may reduce or block the full impact of the pain.
When a medical professional rubs a child’s arm immediately after giving a vaccination, this further stimulation scrambles the pain messages sent by the needle. The child still feels pain, but its impact becomes reduced. It’s a small pill-free pain management technique.
You can see how some of the treatments below may use gate control theory to present your brain with other sensations that distract from chronic pain signals.
Pain often inspires you to rest to avoid triggering additional pain, particularly with joint conditions like osteoarthritis.
In many cases, though, gentle movement such as walking, cycling, or swimming can reduce the pain you experience, even in the affected joint. Your body is made to move, so choose motion in all but the earliest stages of pain.
Heat and ice
Applying hot and cold compresses have physical influences on your body like increasing blood flow and reducing inflammation. They may also introduce additional sensations that use gate control to minimize perceived pain.
Guided breathing and relaxation techniques combined with measured responses from your body, such as heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration, provide you with a way to calm your body and reduce its response to pain.
Using low-voltage electrical impulses delivered through the skin, TENS therapy can scramble or mask pain signals.
Dr. Nassiri is a platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy specialist. PRP therapy uses a small sample of your own blood to create an injectable serum that’s supercharged with platelets, which carry powerful healing activators.
While PRP may not be able to reverse degenerative conditions like arthritis, many patients find pain relief with this technique.
There are plenty of other techniques and treatments that may help reduce your pain symptoms without pills. For a comprehensive assessment, contact the most convenient location of Westside Pain Specialists in Beverly Hills or Rancho Cucamonga, California, by phone to schedule an appointment. The path away from pain starts here.